Guest Blogger- Fun In The Sun!

Today we have Kendra from Paisley Layne Photography here to share some of her photo expertise!

5 tips for shooting in full sun


The temperature is rising and summer is just around the corner. I know that for us that means lots of days playing outside, splashing in the pool and vacations to the beach. Like most moms I do my best to capture these moments, but they don't always turn out as planned. Since most of our summer activities take place during the day when the sun is the brightest, it can be really difficult to get the perfect shot, but when captured correctly full some photos have can have some of the best bright colors and deep blue skies! Here are 5 tips for creating great photos when shooting in full sun:
1.  Watch the time of day - Mid-day sun can be the hardest to shoot in. The sun is directly overhead which means that your subject can end up with squinty eyes and shadows under their eyes and nose. When shooting at this time of the day, focus on capturing your subject engaged in an activity rather than looking directly at the camera. Get creative with your composition and shoot details (toes in the sand, dripping ice cream cone or that canon ball splash into the pool). If you are able to control the time of day that you are shooting, aim for morning or early evening hours. This is when the light is less bright and more flattering.
2. Look for open shade- You can capture great outdoor photos by using open shade. This can include shade from a tree, gazebo, pier or umbrella. Place your subject at the edge of the shaded area facing into the light. This helps to add natural light to the subject's face and eyes while keeping a nice shaded background. If you shoot the opposite way (subject facing into the shade with the sun behind them) you can end up with a dark face and too bright background. If you can't find shade you can always make your own. Use an umbrella, boogie board, or even a beach towel to create a shaded shot for your subject. If there are clouds in the sky, wait for one to cover the sun momentarily and then take your shot. Clouds work as perfect filters and create beautiful soft light. For the images below, we found a covered walkway and a few trees to keep her out of the sun, but still add light to her face and eyes.

3. 1, 2, 3 - Smile! -I use this trick all the time with my little one (and with clients) when shooting in the sun. If the light is too bright, have them close their eyes and count to three. On three they open their eyes and smile at the camera. They only have to have their eyes open for a second to capture a great shot without squinting.

4. Gorgeous Backlight - I love backlit images and usually shoot around sunset so I can capture the soft glow of the sun before it goes down. However, you can still capture beautiful backlit images during other times of the day as well. If you are shooting in the morning you have the same soft light that you get at the end of the day making it easy to get the soft backlit glow. If you are shooting around mid-day, get creative with your angle. Shoot low with your subject above you and the sun behind them.
5. Embrace the Sun - Sometimes you just have to work with what you have. One of my favorite parts of shooting in full sun are the shadows. Look for fun and interesting shadows and use those to add some drama to your images. Look for metal railing and fences that create lined shadows and position your subject so the lines fall across him/her. You can also get creative and capture your child's shadow on the sand or sidewalk.
While shooting in full sun is not always ideal, don't be afraid of it. In the end, the photos you will capture may not be award winning images but they are moments and memories you will cherish forever.

I would love to see some of your full sun images! Share them with me on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram! Happy shooting!

Jen Faith Brown is a family photographer specializing in storytelling family photography session, either in home or on location. Jen is married with three young sons who keep her quite busy and give her abundant practice in photographing always-moving children! Jen is now booking 2015 sessions in Flower Mound, Southlake, Highland Village, Lewisville, Coppell, Frisco, and surround DFW areas. Please visit for pricing and to view sample galleries.

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